Children are increasing being taught superstition and pseudo science as fact. It is an outrage and a betrayal of their education by the government. These pressures are being compounded as religious fundamentalists from around the world try to push their own agenda via our education sector. We need to protect our most precious resource.
Listening to Dr Alice Roberts on schooling in the UK, and Leo Igwe on Africa, at the British Humanist Asscoaition Conference in Bristol today, a quick post as I travel back home.
Madrasahs are opening as extra school activities, and Islamic faith schools are denying a rounded curriculum while promoting a tribalistic cultural interpretation of the religion that promotes face masks and fasting on kids (against mainstream theological views). Fundamentalist Christians, responding to increased Godlessness and what they see as a breeding jihad are funding their own schools teaching creationism, the power of prayer, and that marriage without knowing contraceptives will it all. A Jewish faith school threatens not to admit children driven by their mothers.
Add to that mix, Christian witch hunting fundamentalists from Africa trying to open a school in Kent. Naturally they want to bring their roadshow to the country, to exercise the devil and the wallets of the faithful. Thankfully with pressure from groups like the BHA, this has been stopped. An education is one of the best defences against superstitious peddling and charlatan chancers. As a result, they are the ones trying to breach that by owning schools, or controlling via education boadies or governors.
Money is coming from all over the world to indoctrinate children into fundamentalist beliefs, at odds with the education they need to make the most of opportunities in life, and their potential. What the government sees as investment and the extension of parental choice, is playing with the education of children. Curriculum standards and safeguards are challenged, and too often breached.
Even the one about schools having daily Christian prayer is more commonly in the breach than in the observance. A law that is not going to be enforced, and frequently broken, is one not worth having. It is doubtful that parliament will rescind this obligation anytime soon, despite a forthcoming vote. You wonder what other things are not worth the paper they are printed on.
The Trojan Horse plot took years before Ofsted were prepared to take it seriously. The school in Kent was blocked, as have witch hunting evangelists. The other schools continue to grow. In Higher Education science teachers are being reported by their students for mentioning evolution, as part of their science or medical degree.
A universal curriculum standard should not be sacrificed. I have argued before about schools being a space unlike a place of worship or home (please read: No Such Thing As A Faith Child). Religion posions everything – by that Christopher Hitchens made clear intelligent people will make ridiculous statements, and good people will do bad things in the name of religion. It should not be given a free pass.
The cliche that religious schools increase standards (more on that here: The Church To Control Non Faith Schools) and parents have an absolute right to have the schooling they want for their child, rather than a guaranteed universally academic standard education, should concern us. For mistaking the impact of selective socio economic admission selection, fundamentalists from far and wide are coming for the minds of our children.
Do not be surprised with so many children being used as pawns of fundamentalists that some will go on to have extremist sympathies. Or end up with qualifications that are devalued compared to other children’s. Let alone a fundamentalist mind set due to the instruction, rather than an education that they should have received. Life choices ruined due to promoting parental choices.
These are things that should concern us whether we are religious or not. If we cannot safeguard the quality of education and extra school activities of our children, society is broken. Do not be surprised if some pawns end up promoting an end game we should have seen coming.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog